IWM Blog

  • Tower Hill in the Blitz
    From 7th September 1940, London was bombed by the German Air Force for 57 consecutive nights. The resulting devastation altered the landscape and the character of the city beyond all recognition. Over 40,000 people were killed; churches, houses, shops and offices were reduced to rubble.
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    ​​​​​​​Visual conversations in Hiroshima and Nagasaki
    At 8:15am on the morning of August 6 2015, in blistering heat I stood with young and old at ground zero in Hiroshima, Japan. It was a bewildering, searing moment of collective remembrance, melting in the buzz of cicadas and hum of birdsong. I photographed the sky because it was clear, blue and beautiful, as it apparently was that morning in 1945 when the atomic bomb ‘Little Boy’ was dropped from a United States military plane. Three days later, on August 9, ‘Fat Man’ fell on Nagasaki.
  • ‘Scent Related Campaign’: Ethical decision making behind the conservation of smell
    The conservation work discussed in this blog was carried out for the Transforming IWM London Project (TIWML) – the installation of new Second World War and Holocaust Galleries opening in 2021, along with new learning spaces.
  • Copyright: © IWM
    Ministerial Mayhem: The Control of Photography Order, 1939
    Sir Philip Hesketh-Smithers went to the folk-dancing department; Mr Pauling went to woodcuts and weaving; Mr Digby-Smith was given the Arctic circle; Mr Bentley himself, after a dizzy period in which, for a day, he directed a film about postmen, for another day filed press-cuttings from Istanbul, and for the rest of the week supervised the staff catering, found himself at length back beside his busts in charge of the men of letters.
  • Copyright: © IWM
    An Army of Opera Lovers: The Resurrection of the Teatro di San Carlo during the Allied occupation of Naples
    On 4 November 1943, just over a month after the first Allied troops entered war-torn Naples, Lt. Peter Francis of the Royal Artillery made his first acquaintance with the ruins of the Real Teatro di San Carlo, one of the oldest and most prestigious opera houses in the world. The theatre had been closed in 1942 and it was now in a terrible state: bomb damage had blasted the foyer, debris and layers of dust covered the internal surfaces, there was no electricity or water and a German machine gun nest was still installed on its roof.
  • © IWM (Q 55206)
    The occupation of northern France in the First World War
    In works on French history, the word ‘Occupation’ (often capitalised) is heavily associated with the Occupation of the Second World War, France’s ‘Dark Years’ of 1940–44. However, whilst this was and remains the defining experience of military occupation for the French, there were other instances of this phenomenon in the country’s modern history.